VW Passat & Audi A4 1990-2000

Lower Control Arm

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
1990-97 Passat Models
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. slightly loosen the wheel lug bolts.
  4.  
  5. Chock the rear wheels and then lift the vehicle supporting it on jack stands.
  6.  
  7. Remove the front wheel.
  8.  
  9. Remove the sway bar link mounting nut.
  10.  
  11. On models with the "Base" suspension, remove the ball joint-to-bearing holder (knuckle) pinch bolt and separate the ball joint from the control arm.
  12.  
  13. On models with the "Plus" suspension, remove the ball joint-to-bearing holder (knuckle) nut and separate the ball joint from the control arm. Use a tie rod end removal tool to release the ball joint if necessary.
  14.  
  15. Remove the front and rear control arm bushing mounting bolts.
  16.  
  17. Remove the control arm.
  18.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Removing the lower control arm from the subframe

To install:

  1. Installation is in reverse order of removal noting the following tightening specifications:
  2.  

Front control arm-to-subframe bolt:



Step1: 37 ft. lbs. (50Nm)
 
Step 2: 90° ( 1 / 4 turn
 
Sway bar link-to-control arm nut: 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm)
 

"Base" suspension:



Ball joint-to-bearing holder (knuckle) pinch bolt and nut: 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm)
 

"Plus" suspension:



Ball joint-to-bearing holder (knuckle) nut: 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm)
 

A4 & 1998-00 Passat Models

NOTE
The A4 and 1998-00 Passat models are equipped with 2 lower ball joints that are not serviceable. The control arms must be replaced if a joint is worn or damaged.

lower support link
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle and remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut from the lower track control link, and then press the ball joint out of the tapered seat. If necessary, use a tie rod end removal tool.
  6.  
  7. Support the wheel bearing housing to prevent excessive rebound travel in the suspension.
  8.  
  9. Remove the stabilizer link and lower strut clevis mounting bolt.
  10.  
  11. Remove the lower track control link-to-subframe attaching bolt.
  12.  
  13. Remove the lower track control link from the vehicle.
  14.  

To install:

  1. Install the lower track control link into the vehicle and install the subframe attaching bolt.
  2.  
  3. Tighten the lower strut clevis mounting bolt to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the stabilizer link and tighten the upper attaching bolt to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm) plus 1 / 4 turn (90°), then the lower attaching bolt to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Load the suspension and tighten the subframe attaching bolt to 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm) plus 1 / 4 turn (90°).
  8.  
  9. Install the wheels and lower vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Check the front suspension alignment.
  12.  

lower guide link
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheels.
  6.  
  7. Remove the nut from the lower guide link ball joint and press out the joint from the wheel bearing housing. If necessary, use a tie rod end removal tool to press out the ball joint.
  8.  
  9. Loosen the lower guide link-to-subframe attaching bolt.
  10.  


NOTE
The subframe must be lowered at the rear to remove the lower guide link-to-subframe attaching bolt.

  1. Loosen the rear subframe support plate and subframe bolts.
  2.  
  3. remove the lower guide link-to-subframe attaching bolt.
  4.  
  5. Remove the link from the vehicle.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The lower control arms consist of a lower guide link and a lower support link

To install:

  1. Installation is in reverse order of removal noting the following:
  2.  
  3. Install the control arm to the subframe using a new bolt and washer and tighten to:
  4.  

Lower guide link control arm to subframe bolt (replace):



Step 1: 66 ft. lbs. (90 Nm)
 
Step 2: 90° ( 1 / 4 turn)
 

  1. Install the following finger tight:
  2.  
  3. Subframe bracket to the subframe using a new bolt
  4.  
  5. Subframe bracket to the underbody
  6.  
  7. Lower guide link ball joint
  8.  
  9. Torque the mounting fasteners as follows:
  10.  
  11. Lower guide link ball joint-to-bearing housing (knuckle): 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm)
  12.  
  13. Subframe bracket-to-underbody: 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm)
  14.  

Subframe bracket-to-subframe:



Step 1: 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm)
 
Step 2: 90° ( 1 / 4 turn)
 

  1. Check the front suspension alignment and adjust as necessary.
  2.  

CONTROL ARM BUSHING REPLACEMENT
1990-97 Passat Models
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the control arm.
  4.  
  5. Position the control arm on a suitable press plate. Using a suitable hydraulic press, carefully push the bushing(s) out of the control arm.
  6.  

To install:

  1. On the front bushing, lightly lubricate with soft soap, then position the bushing on the control arm.
  2.  
  3. On the rear bushing, align one arrow with the dimple on the control arm (the kidney shaped opening in the bushing must face the center of the vehicle when the control arm is installed).
  4.  
  5. Carefully press the bushing(s) into the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Install the control arm.
  8.  

A4 and 1998-00 Passat Models
lower support link
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the control arm assembly.
  4.  
  5. Install the aluminum alloy control arm into a vise with protective jaws, noting the angle reference of the bushing as it is installed.
  6.  
  7. To remove the inner bushing, use bushing withdrawal Tool Nos. 3346, 3346/2, 3301/4, 3301 and 3301/1, or their equivalent, and extract the bushing from the control arm.
  8.  
  9. To remove the outer bushing, use bushing withdrawal Tool Nos. 3346/3, 3346/2, 3301/4, 3301 and 3350/1, or equivalent, and extract the bushing from the control arm.
  10.  

To install:

  1. To install the inner bushing, position the bushing such that the angle of the bushing sleeve is 3-9° from being perpendicular or 93-99° to the control arm.
  2.  
  3. Use the bushing installation Tool Nos. 3346/1, 3346/2, 3301/4, and 3301 (or their equivalent), and draw the bushing into the bore of the control arm making sure the angle of the bushing sleeve is 3-9° from being perpendicular or 93-99° to the control arm.
  4.  
  5. To install the outer bushing, use Tool Nos. 3346/3, 3346/2, 3301/4, 3301 and 3346/1 (or their equivalent), and draw the bushing into the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Install the control arm assembly.
  8.  

lower guide link
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the control arm assembly.
  4.  
  5. Install the aluminum alloy control arm into a vise with protective jaws, noting the angle reference of the bushing as it is installed.
  6.  
  7. Use bushing withdrawal Tool Nos. 3347, 3346/2, 3301 and 3347/1 (or their equivalent), and extract the bushing from the control arm.
  8.  

To install:

  1. Position the bushing with the bushing sleeve keyhole and arrows facing the ball joint.
  2.  

The bushing must be pressed into place facing the ball joint within.

  1. Install the bushing by drawing it into the control arm using Tool Nos. 3347/2, 3347/1, 3346/2, 3346/3, 3301 and 3347/1 (or their equivalent).
  2.  
  3. Install the control arm assembly.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The aluminum alloy control arm bushings are removed using a proper set of cylindrical withdrawal tools. The threaded shaft pulls the bushing from the control arm-support link bushing illustrated



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The aluminum alloy control arm bushings are installed by using cylindrical tools and a threaded shaft to pull the bushing into the control arm-support link bushing illustrated

 
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